Disney Developing New ‘Mary Poppins’ Movie, Not a Sequel or Reboot
As they have grown rather fond of doing, Disney is looking back at one of their past hits in order to create some future success. After modern day versions of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Alice in Wonderland (not to mention, upcoming versions of Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book), Disney has hired Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods) to direct a new Mary Poppins musical based on P.L. Travers’ original children’s books.
And, somewhere Anne Hathaway furiously dials her agent.
A movie that will neither be a sequel nor a reboot, Entertainment Weekly reports that the new Mary Poppins will instead just be a modern version of one of Travers’ classic tales. The film will take place in Depression-era London, around 20 years after the events of the 1964 film. That film took its plot largely from the first installment in the book series, while Marshall’s film will use events from a subsequent storyline.
But, what is Mary Poppins without a soundtrack of cheery music? Disney has also brought in composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman who previously collaborated on the Broadway version of Hairspray. They even have the support (for whatever that’s worth) of Richard Sherman who, along with his brother Robert, wrote the songs for the original, including the Oscar-winning “Chim Chim Cher-ee”. (Is it weird that of all the great songs from Mary Poppins, “Chim Chim Cher-ee” is the one that won an Oscar? “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” wasn’t even nominated.)
The movie should certainly spark a casting frenzy for young actors looking to reprise the roles of Mary and Bert. While Hathaway (who has worked with Mary Poppins star Julie Andrews on the Princess Diaries movies) may have the upper hand, may we suggest Emily Blunt. And, while we’re at it, can we just suggest Emily Blunt for everything?
In addition to Mary Poppins, Disney is also in development on new versions of Aladdin, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Mulan, Tinker Bell, The Sword in the Stone and Winnie the Pooh.
David Magee (Life of Pi, Finding Neverland) is currently writing the Mary Poppins script. No release date has been set.